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Old 01-08-2011, 09:32 AM   #1
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Engine quit

I hate it when something goes wrong and the reason cannot be found. Well, that happened on our way to Florida just as we entered Tenn. from KY. The engine decided to quit. It was like someone flipped a switch. We were lucky to be in the right lane so were able to get off he road. When I tried to restart, the engine sputtered a couple of times and that was it. When we called the road assist the mechanic said it sounded like fuel pump trouble and we were towed to a shop in Nashville. The mechanic said it sounded like fuel pump. They put the rig inside overnite and the next morning it started fine. They drove the m/h, checked engine codes, fuel pump pressure and electrical
connections and came up with no answer except possible ice in the fuel line. We drove to Florida with no trouble The m/h is on a 1998 Chev chasis with the 454 engine. Anyone out there had a similar experience? Thanks
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:05 AM   #2
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Thats like when a fuse blows and you replace it and everything is fine. Why did the fuse blow??
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:20 AM   #3
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It's hard to diagnose a problem when there isn't one. Chances are until it happens again you won't know. Doesn't give you a sense of security though, you are always going to be wondering when will it happen again!
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:39 AM   #4
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Well if it was summer and hot I would suspect vapor lock. Since it isn't summer and it still sounds like fuel problems; when was the last time you changed the fuel filter?
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Old 01-08-2011, 11:56 AM   #5
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I had that trouble with an old pickup in the winter, especially when the tank was below 1/4. Started putting Dry-Gas in and everything was fine.

Irwin - if you have a gas rig, you may want to try some Dry-Gas/Heet figuring that you had some water in the gas tank from condensation that froze up as you were driving. Also keep at least a 1/2 tank of gas in at all times.
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Old 01-08-2011, 12:08 PM   #6
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Buy a can of that Spray Starting Fluid and keep it with you. Next time it stops spray some starting fluid into the air cleaner intake. If it starts and runs for a few seconds then it is a fuel problem. If it still will not start then it is an ignition problem. At least you can get it down to 50% of what the problem is.

Normally if a gas motor quits abruptly it is an ignition problem. If it sputters and tries to keep running then it is a fuel problem. The only exception to this if a fuel pump just stops completly all at once. I have had water freeze in a fuel line and it normally sputters and coughs before it quits.
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:48 PM   #7
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had the same problem on my last coach big block chevy it got worse as time went on until it would not start back up , the culprit was the electronic module in the dist. they installed a new one and i never had anymore trouble
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Old 01-10-2011, 03:46 PM   #8
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Dangerous condition at best.

Buy an inductive clamp on timing light and clamp it to the distributor COIL wire (not spark plug wire) and arrange the light so its visible while driving. If the light is intermittient or goes out, then look at the ignition system.

If its a loss of fuel, the timing light will continue to work as long as the engine is rotating on the transmission torque.

Look in the exhaust pipe for signs of excess fuel (black deposits).

Install a fuel pressure gauge to monitor the pressure whhile driving. i realize that ones not as easy as a clamp on light, but its easier than picking up motorhome pieces in the freeway after a semi runs over it...

Like swampdog wrote, those ignition modules can be a real pain, good to replace from time to time and ALSo make sure the connectors are TIGHT on the terminals. I replace / solder them on. AND make sure there is heat sink compound on the heat sink pad, that unit runs very warm.

if you cant find the stalling problem I can build a computerized data collection unit thats suitable to connect to the hostile electrics under the hood and can be read out on a PC while driving. I built one for a propane vehicle project. Neat unit, it captures and records the electrical signals on a PC so they can be played back. I arranged it to capture FI signals, fuel pressure, oxygen sensor but it has up to 8 inputs.

Also, since its GM related, the in-tank fuel pumps can do that also, the old manual pumps just tended to quit outright.
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Old 01-10-2011, 03:53 PM   #9
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I just repaired a similar problem on my '99 Tahoe, fuel pump relay was the fix, about $10.00. See if you have one, locate it and have one handy if it happens again. You can swap one in 60 seconds.
J
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Old 01-22-2011, 08:53 AM   #10
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This sounds exactly like the same problem I experienced with our 1997 Chevy 454 motor home. Even the same location. Purchased unit in North Carolina bringing home on I-40, engine running along and just dies. Would not restart and towed to Nashville Chevy dealer where it sat overnight. The next day they were able to start and move unit into a bay. They diagnosed a faulty fuel pump and replaced pump, fuel filter and I had them change to oil while they were at it. Drove home to St. Louis area next day with no problems. I already had made an appointment with local shop to check over all aspects of engine. Two days after returning home I took unit and left it in their lot. They called later and indicated unit would not start so put it on computer for diagnosis. They found a faulty oil/ignition module. This module as they explained to me was a protection to shut down engine if oil pressure is off. They said this would shut down the engine like I had described and would allow restart at a later time. Replaced module, very inexpensive compared to dropping fuel tank replacing pump. We have driven 2000+ miles without problem.
Hope this helps.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:22 AM   #11
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Did you notice your oil pressure gauge and what was it readingwhen this started to happen.
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Canter View Post
Buy a can of that Spray Starting Fluid and keep it with you. Next time it stops spray some starting fluid into the air cleaner intake. If it starts and runs for a few seconds then it is a fuel problem. If it still will not start then it is an ignition problem. At least you can get it down to 50% of what the problem is.

Normally if a gas motor quits abruptly it is an ignition problem. If it sputters and tries to keep running then it is a fuel problem. The only exception to this if a fuel pump just stops completly all at once. I have had water freeze in a fuel line and it normally sputters and coughs before it quits.
This would be the easiest, fastest troubleshooting step.
Means you have to wait for it to happen again tho...
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:46 AM   #13
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The relay had a peice of metal inside that would not let it make full contact
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